By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A new Ibope poll on voter intention for this year’s Presidential elections in Brazil was released on Tuesday (September 18th) showing a surprising advancement by former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s protégé, Fernando Haddad, into second place.
The survey shows that the country is likely to have a second round of elections at the end of October with two candidates representing the two extremes of the political spectrum.
According to IHS Markit Associate Director and Latin America Country Risk economist, Carlos Caicedo, the latest polls indicate greater political polarization and the highest risk of a move to the political extremes since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985.
“With far-right and left-wing candidates leading polls for the presidential race, there is an increasing likelihood that the run-off second-round poll will be disputed between two anti-establishment candidates,” wrote Caicedo in a statement to clients earlier this week.
The Ibope poll shows that right-wing candidate presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro remains in front, with twenty-eight percent of voter intentions, followed by PT’s (Workers Party) Haddad with nineteen percent. Haddad jumped eleven percentage points since September 11tht, when he was announced as the official PT candidate, substituting ex-president Lula who is jail convicted of passive corruption.
The percentage of those stating they would void or leave their ballots blank fell from the earlier poll, but remains in the two-digits, eleven percent. The percentage of respondents who stated they did not know who to vote for or did not respond remained at seven percent.
As in all polls, the survey conducted by Ibope also measured the rejection rates of the candidates. The two first placed contenders are also the candidates with the greatest number of voters stating that they would ‘definitely not vote’ for them.
Bolsonaro has the highest rejection rate of the candidates, forty-two percent; with women being the majority of those stating they would vote for ‘anybody else but’ the former military official. The candidate and his running mate, retired army general, Antonio Mourão, have been heavily criticized for their controversial statements against women, LGBT groups, indigenous and blacks.
Bolsonaro has publicly said that he would beat his sons if one were to announce he was homosexual and Mourão has given interviews stating that blacks are deceitful and indigenous lazy as well as saying that children brought up in a household without a father or grandfather grow up to become misfits and mal-adjusted individuals.
Fernando Haddad received a ‘no’ from 29 percent of those interviewed.